Gaming

Blue Toad Murder Files: A Touch of Mystery App Review

Console to iOS conversions are often compromised affairs, unless the developer takes drastic action to remould the original experience for the new format. Blue Toad Murder Files: A Touch of Mystery developer Relentless Software has done nothing of the sort – because it didn’t need to.

Blue Toad Murder Files: A Touch of Mystery is a gentle mini-game compendium posing as a light-hearted murder mystery. It’s perfectly at home on iPad.

As a quintessential mid-20th century English detective – or at least the kind you’ll find in any English fiction of the time – it’s your task to solve a murder in idyllic Little Riddle. This apparently tranquil town is populated by a number of stereotypical characters, many of whom have a secret or two to uncover.

There’s the grumpy hotelier, the backwards miller, the babbling old lady, the distrustful inspector, and more.

While it’s pitched as a whodunnit, most of your interactions with the game take the form of logic, memory, or mathematical mini-games. Most are fairly simple to solve once you grasp what’s required of you.

The real skill lies in solving each one correctly and within the allotted ‘gold medal’ time – usually a little under two minutes.

The true appeal of the game, though, is in the between-puzzle story sections, which are shot through with a charmingly good-natured sense of humour. In particular there’s a well-spoken narrator who’s always ready with a knowing quip or a friendly put-down.

Don’t think that these story sections are superfluous either. At odd points throughout the game you’ll be asked to fill out a multiple choice questionnaire, testing whether you’ve been paying attention to what each witness or suspect has told you.

Admittedly there’s not a great deal of replayability once you’ve completed the three episodes on offer here. Performance was also a little sluggish on our third generation iPad, with frequent pauses in between scenes, but in a game of this kind that’s a lot more forgivable than in other, more action-oriented games.

With so many pick up and play arcade action games on the App Store, Blue Toad Murder Files: A Touch of Mystery represents a welcome change of pace. It won’t win any game of the year awards, but it’s a warm, funny, and gently taxing puzzle-whodunnit – and it’s perfectly suited to iPad.

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